First there was wine, then there were waves, and now there’s… pie! Mendocino County is known for many delights and among them is an abundance of really darn good pizza pies! Yes, those crusty slices of heaven that make you wish you were in Venezia. Well Mendocino County has that issue licked! Follow us on our culinary journey to some of the best pizzerias in northwest California.
Piazza de Campovida
If you’re heading to Hopland, then your first stop is at Piazza de Campovida. Relax by the fire on the patio and imagine yourself far, far away on the terrazzo of a pizzeria in Italy. With the sun going down and a cool local brew in hand, peruse the menu that features traditional Napolitano style pizza cooked to perfection in a wood fired brick oven. Campovida’s glorious gardens supply much of the produce during the summer months making for a true farm to fork experience.
There’s only one word to describe Saucy… and that’s, well, saucy! There’s nothing very reverent about this hip spot on “Restaurant Row” in Ukiah. People don’t just come for the great pizza, they stay for the happy hour oysters (a buck a piece!), Pint Nights on Thursdays, and the rocking rotation of beers and wines on tap. Cynthia Ariosta, the owner, has a sense of humor that’s reflected in the menu offerings like Pop-Pie Pizza with spinach (of course!), the Jacob Marley featuring ghost peppers (what else?), and the Altered Boyz, Saucy’s version of pasta and meatballs. Eat inside, at the bar, or at one of the outdoor (pet-friendly) options. You’ll be glad you did!
Stone & Embers
They’re renowned for their pizza but there’s so much more to enjoy. The team at Stone & Embers has created a second-to-none, wood-fired haven in the heart of Anderson Valley. The tiny restaurant cranks out some of the best pies around with organic produce toppings grown at their farm just down the road. But it’s not just the pizza that will grab your attention. Turn your eyes to menu items such as the mushroom ‘chicharrones’—crunchy, explosive bites of essence of ‘shroom or the smoked potato beignets topped with locally grown Piment D’Ville. The menu changes daily depending on what’s in season but one thing that doesn’t change is the care and quality of the food.
Piaci Pub & Pizzeria
Not to be outdone, the coast offers some great opportunities for making eyes at pies. Long a local institution in Fort Bragg, Piaci Pub & Pizzeria is the no-fuss choice for pizza and beer, an unparalled pairing! Barkeep and owner, Stephen Duerr, is known for the care and attention he puts into his ever-changing selection of the best craft beers. He’s also known for producing superb pies in record time feeding the hungry who crowd the pub at lunch and dinner. Go early on a Friday if you want to catch a table!
Just down the coast in Mendocino is a village landmark, Frankie’s, whose pizza and ice cream make it the one-stop shop for families, shoppers, and hikers alike. Choose from the selection of traditional and a little more off-beat pizza selections—like the Whiskey Shoals—or take a chance on the all-organic Frankie’s Falafel. Round out the meal with a sugar cone ice cream… go on, be daring and have the Candy Cap Mushroom. You won’t regret it!